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SPORTSMAN'S NOTES

Sportsman's Park Daily Notebook

Contact: David Zenner (773) 242-1121 ext. 310
sportsmanspub@aol.com

Saturday, April 20, 2002

FIELDS TAKING SHAPE FOR NEXT WEEKEND'S FEATURES

Fields for next weekend's headliners, the $100,000 National Jockey Club Oaks and the Grade III $300,000 Sixty Sails Handicap, are starting to come together with eight distaffers likely for the Sixty Sails and a smaller field thus far expected for the NJC Oaks.

Grade I stakes winner Pompeii heads the list of likely starters. A daughter of Broad Brush, Pompeii hasn't raced since finishing 11th in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Distaff last October at Belmont Park. Previously, the WinStar Farm colorbearer won the Grade I Personal Ensign Handicap at Saratoga last August after running second in the in the Grade I Go For Wand Handicap one-month earlier.

Also expected to start in the mile and an eighth race are Edward P. Evans' With Ability; Alter Racing Stable's Happily Unbridled; Russell L. Reineman Stable's Pretty Gale; Moore, Saylor & Voss' Katy Kat; Stonerside Stable's Becky Virtue; Skara Glen Stable's Quiet Lake; and James Tafel's Lakenheath.

With Ability wired her rivals in the Grade III Next Move Handicap at Aqueduct in her most recent start. The Mark Hennig-trained daughter of A. P. Indy is five for 11 lifetime and two for four this year.

Though winless this year, Happily Unbridled has been racing exclusively in stakes competition, most recently finishing second in the $75,000 Banshee Breeze Handicap at Gulfstream Park. Earlier this year, the daughter of Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup Classic winner Unbridled ran a good third in the Grade II Rampart Handicap at the south Florida oval.

Pretty Gale is expected to return from Kentucky to contest the Sixty Sails. The daughter of Mountain Cat shipped to Keeneland after winning the $100,000 Lady Hallie Handicap over this oval on April 14. The Bobby Springer-trained 4-year-old, a half-sister to Illinois Derby hero War Emblem, previously ran second in the $150,000 Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap at the Fair Grounds.

Speaking of the Bayou BC, race winner Katy Kat is also likely to run in the Sixty Sails. The Niall O'Callaghan-trained daughter of Forest Wildcat has won four races in 10 career trips to the post for earnings in excess of $175,000.

Becky Virtue, a Mike Stidham-trained daughter of Strodes Creek, is in the midst of a four-race win streak that began last November at Sam Houston Race Park in Texas and culminated with a gate-to-wire score in the $50,000 Fairway Fun Stakes at Turfway Park on March 30.

The John Kimmel-trained Quiet Lake is rolling through her allowance conditions with a pair of victories at Gulfstream Park followed by another score at Aqueduct last time out on April 12.

Lakenheath, winner of last year's Grade III Silverbulletday Stakes at the Fair Grounds, will carry the local hopes in the race. The Gene Cilio-trained daughter of Colonial Affair again wintered at the Fair Grounds where she hit the board in a couple of allowance races.

At this early juncture only three sophomore fillies are confirmed for Saturday's National Jockey Club Oaks at a mile and a sixteenth with the connections of several others still eyeing the race.

WinStar Farm's First Again heads the list of NJC Oaks probable starters. The Elliott Walden-trained daughter of Outflaker most recently ran fourth in the Grade I Ashland Stakes at Keeneland. As a 2-year-old, First Again won the $100,000 Drummond Stakes at Delaware Park and ran third in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie.

Vanier-Williamson-Culver's Elementary won the $40,000 Miss Mommy Handicap at Hawthorne last fall while the other confirmed starter, Lazy Lane Farm's Summer Delight won a first-level allowance at the Fair Grounds and finished off the board in that track's Oaks.

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